As the massive threat of Hurricane Lane looms over Hawaii, the state can turn to an unlikely source for solace: The group of pre-teens representing Hawaii at the Little League World Series. With Honolulu representing the western region of the United States, the organization is giving Hawaii representation on a national stage -- which isn't something that's seen often in the realm of sports.
Hawaii routed Staten Island 10-0 to move to the United States Championship, so some people at home are undoubtedly taking notice. The biggest moment of the night was a grand slam from Sean Yamaguchi in the second inning.
Have a night. #LLWS pic.twitter.com/Or5Ye7pAfo— Little League (@LittleLeague) August 23, 2018
The team also gave a shout-out to their home state, a friendly "aloha." There was a clip in the dugout of Hawaii manager Gerald Oda talking to his team, telling the kids that "we're the hope."
#Honolulu Little Leaguers send #Aloha to everyone in #Hawaii bracing for #HurricaneLane #Aloha 🤙🏽pic.twitter.com/JAWdqhZHKh— AnalysisNyTimes (@analysisnytimes) August 23, 2018
After the game, Oda sent an emotional message to the fans back home.
"... We told the boys that what they're ..." Oda said before he had to pause to compose himself. "What they're going through is very difficult -- we've been there -- all of us have been there when these storms have come. And it can be chaotic, it's a lot of stress. But we told the kids that ... this is our opportunity to really give back. Because we know that there's a lot of people at home watching the game. And we said that if anything, for them to watch us, we can give them hope. They can take their mind off. And that's what we hope it did."
Chicken Skin - #Honolulu Little League manager Gerald Oda gets emotional talking about #Hawaii as it prepares for #HurricaneLane #ALOHA 🤙🏽 pic.twitter.com/ZwUcIKRsfw— AnalysisNyTimes (@analysisnytimes) August 23, 2018
It was a huge showing from the team with a message behind it as their home prepares for the storm. Hawaii's next game will come on Saturday against the winner of Georgia and Staten Island on Friday.
Though the Little League World Series is a fun affair, it's undoubtedly tough for the kids to be away from home. They've already become "the hope" by making it this far, but there's no question they'd like to close out what's been an extremely impressive run and bring the trophy home.